It was a dismal epoch in Delano, CA. The goal of the infamous Delano Grape Boycott was to force unionization of the farm workers to improve their pay and working conditions while subjugating their employers.
The majority of the workers were Americans of Mexican descent, plus documented immigrants and illegals. They have a certain love of the soil and a sense of true beauty and artistry that benefitted California agriculture for generations. They could draw the best out of a grape vine or a fruit tree or make a broken-down tractor hum.
They are also Roman Catholic from the time Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in 1531 Mexico and freed them from the despotism of Aztec rulers. As many as 300,000 victims were sacrificed every year to Aztec gods until Our Lady fulfilled an ancient Aztec prophecy on the Hill of Tepeyac.
Working conditions and treatment of employees varied with the nature and character of the farm owners, but they largely cared for their employees as much as any other employer. Sanitary conditions and other aspects of toiling in the hot sun have been vastly improved. Many migrate north following the harvests each year, often making their lives difficult save for growers’ labor camps. Many of the growers are also Roman Catholic. Their Church leaders stood against them, adding to the chaos caused by well-trained and funded leftist community organizers.
The United Farm Workers was formed around Fred Ross’ Communist tactics taught to Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta when in New Mexico. Seeking union organization of the workers, the UFW was quickly embraced by Democrat politicians and church leaders of several denominations. They came by the busload from UFW headquarters; they marched, they threatened, they destroyed, and they carried banners of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Che Guevara.
The contrast between the freedom of Christ Our Lady delivered and the mass murdering Communist slavery of Che Guevara was not lost on Josephine Gabaldon.
Josephine from Earlimart, California (just north of Delano) organized a group of farm working mothers she called “Mothers Against Chavez.” Today, I call them “The Hispanic Tea Party.” As meetings were held in churches with special services and processions for the fledgling UFW, the Mothers tried to participate and express their feelings about the tactics of the UFW organizers. They were rebuffed and not even allowed in church halls. After all, the Kennedys and noted church leaders were on the side of the UFW. (Leftist defined Social Justice, you know.)
Chavez and Huerta were showered with accolades so numerous it boggles the mind… even to today where the Obama Administration is being lobbied by the UFW to posthumously present the late Fred Ross with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mothers Against Chavez drew some financial support from a man who flew in on his Learjet, according to her son Tony, who was 12 at the time (and is holding a sign in the above picture). A short time later, his jet crashed, killing all aboard.
History has a strange way of working things out. Josephine’s “Hispanic Tea Party” – Mothers Against Chavez — losing its benefactor in a plane crash never succeeded in stopping the UFW as it grew to around 350,000 members to the joy of leftists and Democrats all the way to Washington, DC, with a lot of taxpayer dollars. Almost the same number of victims were sacrificed by the Aztecs every year to assure their food supply.
The UFW has failed to win repeated elections at farms and food processing plants whose workers were well treated. UFW is now down to less than 5,000 members – a drop of over 98%. Dolores Huerta still runs things. She still receives accolades for service to humanity through her failed union – even named to the list of the “Top 100 Women of the 20th Century.”
You won’t find a word about Josephine Gabaldon, the God-fearing Founder of the “Hispanic Tea Party” – Mothers Against Chavez. Maybe some day when we are free again under our Constitution, they’ll name a school or a boulevard for her.
Her son Tony, who marched with her and saw the injustices of the left, is today a successful communications specialist and a father of 4, including a little girl he and his now late wife adopted 4 years ago. Tony is a staunch Republican who cajoles his relatives and co-workers to wake up.
I know – Tony is my friend, and his little girl is my Goddaughter. She loves having tea parties with Nana and our dog Emily. Emily enjoys the special treatment and dutifully drinks her cup of tea. And life goes on.